The report, published by The Times on Friday, cited a US intelligence source  as saying that "some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions,” AFP reported on Thursday.
In the latest attack on December 30, 2012, a US drone strike killed three people in Yemen’s al-Bayda province. Statistics gathered by the American news website The Long War Journal prior to the attack showed that the United States "is known to have carried out 41 airstrikes" in Yemen in 2012, around three to four strikes per month on average. The website also said that since December 2009, the CIA and the US military's Joint Special Operations Command have conducted more than 54 air and missile strikes in Yemen. On December 27, 2012, the New America Foundation, an American non-profit, nonpartisan public policy institute and think tank, showed that the number of the US drone airstrikes in Yemen almost tripled in 2012 compared with the previous year. Washington claims the targets of its attacks are al-Qaeda militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks over the past few years.